Modern Nativity: The Shepherds
-Rev Melissa Fain-
Nearby shepherds were living in the fields, guarding their sheep at night. The Lord’s angel stood before them, the Lord’s glory shone around them, and they were terrified.
I sat in front of my computer with an online invite on the screen, and physical invites in my hand. It was my son’s 10th birthday party. He wanted to have the party at the park so he could invite more friends. Looking between the screen and my hand I thought out loud, “Who will not get an invite between these two formats?” I realized there were two friends he wouldn’t physically see at school, and who I didn’t have an email address. Changing tabs, I put the invites down and messaged the parents of my son’s friends.
It hit me how easy invites had become. Really nice paper invites can be purchased for next to nothing at Party City. They have a theme for any kind of party you can think of. Don’t want to use paper invites? There are sites completely devoted to online invitations. These sites will even tell you when the invite has been read, and whether they have RSVP’d. Like I said, it’s easy.
Communication today is generally easy. After all, you are reading this devotional. It was written by writers from all over the United States. I can say, with complete honesty, I have only physically met two of the other seven contributors and none of them while we were working on this project. Yet, with the power of the internet, we collaborated to put this devotional together. That’s amazing. Then there’s you, reading these devotions. There’s a chance we have never met, and never will meet. Isn’t that amazing? I think that’s amazing.
It’s not like early Bethlehem had Wi-Fi to spread the news of Christ’s birth. Word of mouth might have spread from person to person, but that would not have travelled very far. God apparently wanted the Shepherds at the birth. It was going to take something more than a hand delivered invitation. I don’t think our immediate news culture can understand the miraculous nature of including the shepherds. Personal messengers of God sent the invite. A format we’d think would be reserved for kings was given to the people who were intimately connected to the Creation: Shepherds. Praise be to God.
As I ask you to hear my prayer, help me hear your message to me.
Keep my mind and heart open to your voice in my life.
Rev. Melissa Fain was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with duel partnership between First Christian Church of Atlanta, and First Christian Church of Marietta.
She has a BA in Music from Kennesaw State University and a Masters of Divinity from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. She is currently the senior minister at Fig Tree Christian. Melissa is the mother of two wonderful children, and wife to a great and supportive husband. In her spare time, she loves arts and crafts which includes making costumes from scratch, and knotted bracelets.
She has used her continuing education to study new church plants and church redevelopment.